Friday, 14 January 2011

Signs of the Times

Signs of the Times

Take your everyday, ordinary life... and place it before God as an offering... Don't become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking (Rom 12:1 The Message).

Hello and welcome back to today’s Truth for the Journey. I trust you enjoyed our last article, which was very informative and I hope you were inspired to be a baton catcher and a baton passer for your generation! However as we move on, today’s article discusses the “Signs of the Times.” For this we will continue where we left off and I will begin by saying that the question that the last hundred years leaves us is this: “What next?” The only answer that can be given is that we must surrender to the move of the Holy Spirit and the authority of God’s Word! Only this marriage of God’s Spirit and God’s Word will move us forwards in this generation.

Let me insert something here that came out during a conversation between Dr Robb Thompson and Oral Roberts, which I happen to agree with very much indeed. In Oral’s living room one day they began discussing how the Lord produced such great believers in the past. To which brother Oral made the following comments; “In the last century – we never heard about the word commitment. The word we consistently used was SURRENDER.”

I also would like to suggest that SURRENDER is a key word for any of us wanting to move on with the Holy Spirit today. We must learn once again what it means to be fully surrendered to the Lord. In Psalms 37:7 it says “Surrender yourself to the LORD, and wait patiently for him. Do not be preoccupied...” (God’s Word Translation). However the Authorized Version uses the word “rest” in place of “surrender” here - which basically means to “stop yourself, to hold your peace and to quieten yourself!” (See Strong’s Heb #1826)

To continue and to answer the question: “What next?” I will simply suggest that this has already begun taking place by “The Apostolic and Prophetic Movement.” To qualify this point of view, let me add something that Roberts Liardon spoke with me recently; “The most successful students and ministers now come from schools that are birthed by Apostolic Ministries. In the times of the reformation, seminaries were the place where great ministers were formed, but over time many of them have become places where God’s Word and the present day workings of the Holy Spirit are discredited. It seems that God has moved the place where He trains and launches His ministries and this increasingly is within the apostolic streams.”

In addition to this, it’s true to say that Church historians do recognise that the restoration of truth has been and is being restored to the church. You might say this began as far back as 1517. We can recognise these individual movements according to a particular century and decade. But to summarise, it is important to identify that the Church age could not be brought to a place of full maturity until the fivefold ministry gifts were restored, that every one as a church member could be prepared to be part of a ministry team I.e., a vehicle to reach society as seen in Ephesians 4:11 – 16.

These major truths have been restored, Salvation by grace through faith (Ephesians 2: 8-9) was the beginning (1500), which we now call ‘The Protestant Movement.’ In the 1600’s ‘The Evangelistic Movement’ began with water baptism and the separation of Church and State. In the 1700’s ‘The Holiness Movement’ came into being with sanctification, the Church being set apart from the world. In the 1800’s ‘The Faith Healing Movement’ with divine healing for the physical body and the recognition that healing was provided for in the atonement.

In the 1900’s ‘The Pentecostal Movement’ exploded on the scene at a small Bible School in Topeka, Kansas with former Methodist pastor Charles Fox Parham, with the Holy Spirit baptism, the evidence of speaking in tongues, and the gifts of the Spirit, the forerunners being Evan Roberts of the Welsh Revival (1904) and also William J. Seymour (from 1906 onwards) of the famous Azusa Street Revival USA. Then in the 1950’s the ‘Latter Rain Movement’ began with the prophetic presbytery, singing praises and melodious worship.

Now from this time forth, The Five Fold Apostolic Ministries have been placed back in the Church, with recognition. The Evangelist Ministry and mass evangelism was reactivated. Then in 1960, The Pastoral gift was restored to being the sovereign head of the Local Church, with renewal of all restored truth to all movement churches; this was known as ‘The Charismatic Movement.’

Then in 1970, ‘The Faith Movement’ began with faith confessions, prosperity and victorious attitudes for life; with The Teaching Ministry re-established as a major ‘five-fold ministry’.

In the 1980’s we saw The Prophetic Movement begin with the prophet ministry restored and the company of the prophets brought forth. We also saw through this prophetic movement, a release of certain characteristics and revelations, such as the activation of warfare praise and prophetic intercession and much teaching on the Joshua generation, which challenged us to cross over into the Promised Land.

Then in the 1990’s ‘The Apostolic Movement’ began with the Apostle’s ministry being restored to bring divine order, structure and finality the restoration of the five fold ministries. Along with this gift, there have been fresh appearances of the miraculous, signs and wonders, unity amongst leaders and a great harvest of souls.

These are not competitive, controlling authorities, but servant-hood governments that have come to serve the people of God and help them fulfil their course and purpose. They will teach spiritual principles and not just mechanics of the Word. They will understand that there are different mechanics for different things in different parts of the world. However, the spiritual principles remain the same. These churches will train the people to use their unction and to follow the leading of the Holy Spirit to reap a bountiful harvest of souls, wherever they go in the earth. (The following 5 principles were inspired by Roberts Liardon’s early teachings; the 6thprinciple is my own addition!)

Six Principles:
1. Divine training takes place:
In a spiritual hub, you will find schools of training with divine purpose and commitment – a place where revelation will abound. Some of these schools will serve and minister to a particular territory; some will serve the nations.

2. Ministries are based in Hubs:
It is a hub where travelling ministries base themselves. A ministry that succeeds and is effective in the earth must have a place of divine feeding, divine love, expectance and prayer.

3. Ministries and Divine Projects are launched:
It is a place where those who have prepared their hearts and lives are launched into spiritual position. There is an abundance of the word and the Spirit. Those who are truly called abound and prosper in the strength of their calling because of the environment of a spiritual hub. In this place, it is important to remember that because it is easy to feel called in a spiritual hub environment, we must search ourselves to make sure we have received the divine impartation to stand against the rough territories and to fulfil the commission or the path to which one is called.

4. Restoration for Laity and Ministries Takes Place:
For those who go out into the earth and build the works of God, it is good to have a place of refreshing where they can receive strength and help. It is wise to receive help when you need it, and to be renewed in your vision. If you are weary in well doing on the field, you must return to a place where you can be filled spiritually and encouraged.

5. It Effects the Culture of a City or a Region:
The maturity, revelation and anointing of the churches in this Millennium will change the cities where they are based. Morality, crime and the economy will be positively affected. Cities where the Spirit of God rules strongly will grow and prosper. There are many testimonies given where churches have had major break troughs because of their strong prayer and righteous mentality. Bars have shut down, prostitution and crime to almost nil rate

6. The Pulling down of Strongholds:
This has taken place because of the dealings with the principalities and powers over their territories. Dr C. Peter Wagner says, in his book Territorial spirits that; ‘…evil spirits are assigned to geographical areas.’ Let me make it plain, these have to be pulled down before we will see change and revival. Remember; time is a rewarder of faithfulness.

PRAYER FOR THE DAY
Father thank you for this generation of believers - I want to be part of a movement that knows once again how to be properly surrendered to your Holy Spirit. Help me Father to fully surrender my life in Jesus name. Amen.

CONFESSION OF THE DAY
Today I surrender my spirit, soul and body to be used by God the Holy Spirit, in this generation. I choose to be part of the “what next” phenomena on planet earth! I rightly take my place, in willing obedience with Him by my side.

THANK YOU FOR HELPING TO MAKE THIS MINISTRY POSSIBLE!
WE LOVE YOU…!

Motto: ‘God Chooses, then the Spirit Tests, but You Must Respond!’

Copyright 2011 © Alan Pateman Ministries

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